Viral poem by ‘student of Baltimore City Public Schools’ actually written by 38-year-old man

This photo of a poem allegedly by a Baltimore City Public schools student has gone mega-viral, racking up an impressive 50K+ retweets and 100K+ likes. But there’s just one problem…

Written by a student of Baltimore City Public Schools 🙏🏾 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/zCxMmgnvZI

— Sydney Snow (@SydneySnowEsq) February 12, 2018

…the actual author of the poem, Joshua T. Dickerson, is 38-years-old:

That viral poem, “Cause I Ain’t Got a Pencil,” was written by 38-year-old @joshtdickerson, not a Baltimore student. https://t.co/4tX6qOjliv pic.twitter.com/0fxLuhVKsX

— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) February 13, 2018

Whoops. Dickerson even told the woman he’s the author of the poem, but she left it up:

I’m the author and I’m a grown man. This was not written by a student in Baltimore.

— Joshua T. Dickerson (@joshtdickerson) February 13, 2018

She’s since apologized:

Got the wrong information and tweeted that the author of the poem I posted was a student. He isn’t a student but an adult author. Sorry for the confusion.

— Sydney Snow (@SydneySnowEsq) February 13, 2018

Dickerson tweeted that the poem was inspired by a real-life situation he witnessed where a student had to give up a shoe as collateral in order to borrow a pencil in class:

I was inspired by a situation in which I saw a student get embarrassed by an adult for not having a pencil. He was asked to turn in his shoe for “collateral” for a pencil. His socks were filthy and the kids laughed at him. He simply wanted a pencil to complete his work.

— Joshua T. Dickerson (@joshtdickerson) February 13, 2018

Wow. That’s “heartbreaking”:

Good Lord! And I thought the poem was heartbreaking.

— Candis Best (@CandisBest) February 13, 2018

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